• Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

  • Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.
Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: sery2831, CRail

  by wicked
 
Seems like freight was also a consideration? Although I don’t think there are any customers on that stretch?
  by Commuterrail1050
 
There is no longer any freight that runs east of Framingham on the Worcester mainline. Only certain ones west to Worcester and westboro and via Framingham secondary to readville and Attleboro/mansfield industrial park. The third track would be the express track for each peak rushour. Right now, from west natick through newtonville, only one train can be at the station at a time. Meaning that when an inbound is stopped at the station, the outbound has to wait just before and when an outbound is stopped, the inbound has to wait just before the station. That’s because of a walkway between the platforms vs stairs and bridges. The on,y exception is the newton stops where the platform is on track 2 only and if they had to go on 1, the train would have to line up via the boardwalk. Rebuilding all of these platforms could eliminate the need for what I described above, plus the middle track would have express trains not stop. The way it is now, express would have to stop if another train is stopped at one of these stations. Hope this clears up some confusion on the current layout vs what is planned.
  by MBTA3247
 
The EGE wrote: Sun May 12, 2024 3:57 pm*Wellesley Square may get temporary mini-high platforms within the next year or two. If the new temporary mini-highs they just installed at Beverly are deemed successful, they plan to built them at Wellesley Square, Franklin, Walpole, and West Medford pending full reconstructions of those stations.
I thought construction of new mini-highs was verboten because of the state's extreme interpretation of ADA. Did that change, or was I misinformed somewhere along the way?
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
I do know about Massachusetts' own adaption of ADA, but even NJT no longer has new mini-highs since 2006,
instead rebuilding stations to all new full high platforms.
  by west point
 
That express track will also help Amtrak service to Springfield.
  by diburning
 
MBTA3247 wrote: Mon May 13, 2024 4:30 pm
The EGE wrote: Sun May 12, 2024 3:57 pm*Wellesley Square may get temporary mini-high platforms within the next year or two. If the new temporary mini-highs they just installed at Beverly are deemed successful, they plan to built them at Wellesley Square, Franklin, Walpole, and West Medford pending full reconstructions of those stations.
I thought construction of new mini-highs was verboten because of the state's extreme interpretation of ADA. Did that change, or was I misinformed somewhere along the way?
They're probably allowed if they're temporary, with a plan for a full high level platform to be put in its place.
  by johnpbarlow
 
Just a nit but given there is continuous fencing with no pedestrian crossing between tracks 1 and 2 at Natick Center, Wellesley Square, and Wellesley Hills, these stations all permit two T trains to stop simultaneously. Only W Natick and Wellesley Hills stations require patrons to cross track 2 on a pedestrian crossing to get on/off a T train stopping on track 1. Thus if a train is occupying track 2 at these two stations, access to a simultaneously arriving train on track 1 would be denied.
  by charlesriverbranch
 
johnpbarlow wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 6:56 am Just a nit but given there is continuous fencing with no pedestrian crossing between tracks 1 and 2 at Natick Center, Wellesley Square, and Wellesley Hills, these stations all permit two T trains to stop simultaneously. Only W Natick and Wellesley Hills stations require patrons to cross track 2 on a pedestrian crossing to get on/off a T train stopping on track 1. Thus if a train is occupying track 2 at these two stations, access to a simultaneously arriving train on track 1 would be denied.
I think you mean Wellesley Farms not Wellesley Hills. At Wellesley Hills there is no way to access the outbound platform without crossing the tracks.

Wellesley Farms once had a pedestrian crossing, but today there is a fence, and from the inbound platform, you have to climb the stairs to Glen Road, cross the bridge, turn left on Hundreds Road and walk quite a ways to get to the outbound platform. This will be a problem if you're expecting a train on one track and it appears on the other, which happens frequently on this line.
  by The EGE
 
diburning wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 3:10 am
MBTA3247 wrote: Mon May 13, 2024 4:30 pm
The EGE wrote: Sun May 12, 2024 3:57 pm*Wellesley Square may get temporary mini-high platforms within the next year or two. If the new temporary mini-highs they just installed at Beverly are deemed successful, they plan to built them at Wellesley Square, Franklin, Walpole, and West Medford pending full reconstructions of those stations.
I thought construction of new mini-highs was verboten because of the state's extreme interpretation of ADA. Did that change, or was I misinformed somewhere along the way?
They're probably allowed if they're temporary, with a plan for a full high level platform to be put in its place.
The MAAB has been around (1978) before ADA (1990). (That's why the 1980s-opened Orange and Red Line stations are accessible.) Its rules are not an interpretation of federal rules; they're a separate and often stricter set. That's generally a good thing; it's why almost all the remaining narrow, substandard Green Line surface stops will be rebuilt with accessible, comfortable platforms over the next few years. Compare to SF, which doesn't plan to ever make most of its light rail stops accessible.

Mini-highs are a poor accessibility solution - they limit passengers needing them to a small part of the train, and they don't have the dwell time benefits of full-length accessible platforms. They're worthwhile as temporary solutions pending full reconstruction, as these are intended to be, but they should not be seen as a good permanent station design.
  by MBTAVideoClips
 
Not to mention the Bilevels also limiting them from moving down the train
  by BandA
 
The temporary boarding at Worcester recently in the layover facility violated all accessibility. Tall wooden stairs. Woman with multiple kids had to have someone who wasn't an employee carry her stroller while keolis employees looked on.
  by BandA
 
The EGE wrote: Sun May 12, 2024 3:57 pm Two separate projects.

The third track project is to stretch from CP-11 in Weston to CP-21 just east of Framingham, a total of 10.2 miles. A new interlocking, CP-15, would be added just west of Wellesley Square. The four non-accessible stations on the segment - West Natick plus the three Wellesley stops* - would be rebuilt for the triple track with full-length high level platforms. A design contract was issued in June 2021, with projected design completion in mid-2025. Total construction costs were estimated in the $400M range, completion in late 2030.

Separately, the three Newton stations are planned for reconstruction. That project has been rather bumpy. The MBTA first presented designs with one platform, with no traffic modeling. That did not go over well. Then they started designing proper two-platform stations, but abruptly stopped in 2023 because the costs were out of control. The latest update has them planning 400-foot-long platforms - supposedly to save on cost - that won't be able to accommodate the length of trains that are normally run. That's not going over well either.
The no-build option would be better than the disgraceful plans the T has proposed for the Newton stations. Auburndale and West Newton should be rebuildable using lots of ramps and no elevators, sorta like the Ashland to Grafton cheapskate stations. Leave space for future quartet of elevators - each elevator costs >$1M i think from reading documents several years ago. Newtonville Station can either be rebuilt with two side tracks or it is impossible depending on the minimum width of elevators and space allowed between the elevator and the track. Also interesting is the MBTA's obsession with pedestrian overpasses but never an underpass - probably for security reasons.
  by west point
 
How about a bad compromise. Leave the inbound platform as is but the outbound be full length? Riders can wait on short platform and board what cars are available but when arriving can immediately get off and not miss getting off at closed doors,? Later on lengthen inbound platform. That would prevent an outbound double stop if MBTA does double stops?.
  by MBTAVideoClips
 
They don't do double stops and instead have riders walk forwards/backwards to doors that will open.
  by Disney Guy
 
"" Tall wooden stairs. Woman with multiple kids had to have someone who wasn't an employee carry her stroller while keolis employees looked on. ""

Much worse if the Keolis employees got back in the train and took off before the woman and kids could board.
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